Posts from the ‘Jesus’ Category

A BETRAYER AT THE DINNER TABLE

A BETRAYER AT THE DINNER TABLE (MARK 14:17-20 AMP)

THE PLACE OF THE LAST SUPPER (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

THE PLACE OF THE LAST SUPPER (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

My brothers and sisters, this week allows us to go deep within ourselves and reflect upon that awesome moment in history that Jesus took upon His shoulders the agony of being beaten, humiliated in every way possible, suffering while being nailed and hanged upon a cross for all of our sins in order that we may have the opportunity to enjoy eternal life that God the father promised and sent His Son Jesus to die for.

Now use your imagination and image yourselves sitting down at the dinner table with family and friends and eating a well prepared meal as you discuss the family problems and current events which are suppose to be a very enjoyable moment.  Then image yourself not having the benefit of spiritual insight to know that one of your family members have been plotting behind your back to kill the head of your family, what would be your immediate reaction?  In the case of Jesus and His twelve disciples this is exactly what happen.

On that evening (Wednesday or Thursday), Jesus arrived in Jerusalem with the twelve disciples.  The meal was not to be eaten until after sunset and was supposed to be finished by midnight.

However, as Jesus and His Disciples were eating, Jesus spoke the stunning words, that quickly got the attention of everyone sitting around the dinner table that evening.  Jesus said, “One of you will betray me.”  The betrayer was one of his own chosen twelve disciples, a member of his own family, one with whom the meal was being shared.  Jesus words caused quite a stir among the disciples.  They had heard Jesus tell them three different times that he would soon die, but that one of them would actually betray Jesus saddened them greatly.

Although the other disciples were confused by Jesus words, Judas knew what he meant.  Apparently, Judas was not the obvious betrayer.  After all, he was the one the disciples trusted to keep the money.  Therefore, the disciples asked Jesus who the betrayer was; “I’m not the one, am I?” each one asked in turn.  Matthew records that even Judas asked the same question (Matthew 26:25).  Jesus knew that Judas was going to betray him, and he also knew that Judas would not repent.

In our studies we find that Luke wrote this about Satan, he said Satan entered into Judas Iscariot before he went to the religious leaders.  However, Satan’s part in the betrayal of Jesus does not remove any of the responsibility from Judas.  In God’s sovereign will and according  to his timetable, he uses sinful men.  But that doesn’t excuse their sin.  All people will be held accountable for their choices and actions.  Whatever Judas thought, Satan assumed that Jesus death would end Jesus mission and thwart God’s plan.  Like Judas, Satan did not know that Jesus death and resurrection were the most important parts of God’s plan all along.

All I can say in conclusion, is that this had to be one hellish feeling in the gut of each family member sitting around the dinner table that night knowing that one of them would betray the head of their family in such an evil way.

JESUS PERMITTED HIMSELF TO BE CRUCIFIED

JESUS PERMITTED HIMSELF TO BE CRUCIFIED

JESUS DIED FOR OUR SINS (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

JESUS DIED FOR OUR SINS (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

Man, in his lack of knowledge, his vague understanding of the justice of a loving Father, has made the grave a darkened sepulcher, a thing to be dreaded, and an end to all his aspirations and his ambitions. For ages he has feared this ending of physical existence and has made of it a time of intense mourning, a period filled with tears. BUT, this Great Spirit who had power over life and death permitted Himself to be crucified; He came to this Earth for that great purpose.

However, the question may be raised: If we claim that Jesus the Christ had power over His life, then why did he permit the great indignities and cruelties which were perpetrated upon Him and why did He not save Himself from this undignified and cruel death?

Now listen to what Jesus tells us about another man taking his life away from him.  Jesus tells us in John 10 these words, He says, “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life that I might take it again?  No man takes it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” We find another statement given by the Christ after the crucifixion, after He had suffered death on the cross–when He had come back from the spiritual world to commune with His disciples. In the twenty-eighth chapter of Matthew, the eighteenth verse, He again claims the same power. “And Jesus came and spoke unto them, saying, all power is given unto me in heaven and in Earth.”

Jesus’ Victory over Death

“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4).

We encourage you to stop in and visit with us daily, because from now until Easter Sunday Morning we will be presenting you with the story of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  I remain your brother in Jesus, PASTOR DAVIS/MASTER TEACHER!

 

IS GOD REALLY WHITE?

IS GOD REALLY WHITE? This is a question that one of our readers asked me this morning in response to our lesson yesterday title: “SIMON OF CYRENE WAS THE BLACK HANDS THAT HELP CARRY THE CROSS.” You can read his questions and my answers to his questions under the comment section at the bottom of this lesson.  Click this link and stroll down to the bottom of the page:  http://wp.me/pf75v-33x

THE SPIRIT OF GOD IS IN ALL THINGS (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

THE SPIRIT OF GOD IS IN ALL THINGS (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

My friend, your question that you asked this morning, “Is God really White is in truth a really simple to answer.  However, I will not just give you a simplicity answer.  I will begin by answering it this way.  God is neither White nor Black; God is spirit.  We worship God in truth and in Spirit, because God is all there is.  God is everything and everything is God.  Before the world was created, God existed and He created everything out of Himself.  There is nothing are no where God is not.  Therefore, the beautiful colors that we all are, God created them all to represent himself in his beautiful natural self.  The bible says in Genesis 1:27 that God created us in His own image and likeness.   Therefore, what color are we?  Did God not create the rainbow?  Does not the rainbow have many different colors?  Since we all are Gods’ children, do we not represent the rainbow of the Universe?

 

 

Your next question would probably be, what about Jesus, is  Jesus himself God, was He not a white man with long stringy hair and blue eyes?  Well that is the image that the white man in America has created to represent Jesus.  That is not the real Jesus who is the son of God and who is our Lord and Savior.  There is nowhere in the New Testament that includes a physical description of Jesus before His death.  That being the case, how can we come up with a picture of Jesus being a white man with blue eyes?  I am a black man and I have blue eyes.   Various theories about the race of Jesus has been advanced and debated for centuries, but there is no clear evidence of what color is Jesus.  The one thing that we can say for certain is that Jesus is God and He has said so Himself and God is neither white nor Black.

The Prophet Isaiah spoke of Jesus some 700 years before Jesus came to earth.  This is what he said, “Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: I am the First and I am the Last; besides Me there is no God.”  (Isaiah 44:6 AMP)

In the book of John the bible says this, “In the beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  (John 1:1 AMP)  Then in verse 14, John further says, “And the Word (Christ) became flesh (human, incarnate) and tabernacled (fixed His tent of flesh, lived awhile) among us; and we [actually] saw His glory (His honor, His majesty), such glory as an only begotten son receives from his father, full of grace (favor, loving-kindness) and truth.” When we move to the book of Revelations the bible says this:  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, says the Lord God, He Who is and Who was and Who is to come, the Almighty (the Ruler of all).  (Revelation 1:8 AMP) During His time here on this earth Jesus said many things about Himself here are a few:

  1. I am Divine
  2. I am the son of man
  3. I am Alpha and Omega
  4. I am the light of the world

Wow, think about that last one, “I am the light of the world!”  What color is light?  Nobody knows the race are color of Jesus, but what we do know is that his message is about God and love, that makes his race and the color of his skin irrelevant. Our calling is to love God with all our being and be conformed to the image of Christ.  He came here to teach us how to live, love and be obedient to the word of God and offer us eternal life.  He was beaten and suffered a horrific death on the cross for our sins that is all the people of the world, not just white people, or black people nor any other race of people.  He did this for all of us and in this day and time, we should be living as one people, being of the same mind as Jesus had, when he said let this mind that is in me be also in you. (Philippians 2:5). Let us celebrate this Easter with the love of Christ in our hearts, and think not of his color or even our own skin color, but love each other, because God first loved us and he has commanded that we love each other.

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JESUS TURNS HIS DEFEAT AT THE CROSS INTO A GLORIOUS VICTORY

JESUS TURNS HIS DEFEAT AT THE CROSS INTO A GLORIOUS VICTORY

HOW JESUS TURNED HIS DEFEAT AT THE CROSS INTO THE MOST GLORIOUS VICTORY THE WORLD HAS EVER KNOWN (Luke 23:26-35MSG)

Greetings to all My Brothers and Sisters in Christ, as we enter into the final week of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, (which we call Easter), allow me to paint the picture of Jesus’ crucifixion in words and pictures for you. The story is a little longer than we normally present, but because of time constraints I did not want to break it up into two are three parts, just remember, this is not a normal story.

Therefore, I encourage you to listen up and read carefully what I am about to tell you: As they led him off,

Simon of Cyrene the black hands that helped carry the cross (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

Simon of Cyrene the black hands that helped carry the cross (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

they made Simon, a man from Cyrene who happened to be coming in from the countryside, carry the cross behind Jesus. A huge crowd of people followed, along with women weeping and carrying on. At one point Jesus turned to the women and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem don’t cry for me. Cry for yourselves and for your children. The time is coming when they’ll say, ‘Lucky the women who never conceived! Lucky the wombs that never gave birth! And Lucky the breasts that never gave milk!’ Then they’ll start calling to the mountains, ‘Fall down on us!’ calling to the hills, ‘Cover us up!’ If people do these things to a live, green tree, can you imagine what they’ll do with deadwood?”

Two others, both criminals, were taken along with him for execution. When they got to the place called Skull Hill, they crucified him, along with the criminals, one on his right, and the other on his left.

Jesus prayed while on the cross with the two thieves (Photo by Pastor Davis)

Jesus prayed while on the cross with the two thieves (Photo by Pastor Davis)

Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them; they don’t know what they’re doing.” Dividing up his clothes, they threw dice for them. The people stood there staring at Jesus, and the ringleaders made faces, taunting, “He saved others. Let’s see him save himself! The Messiah of GOD—ha! The Chosen—ha!”

At the time of Jesus death, crucifixion was considered the most painful and degrading form of capital punishment in the ROMAN EMPIRE. It was considered so horrible that it was used by the Romans only for slaves, those from the provinces under their control, and the lowest types of criminals. It was not to be used for a ROMAN CITIZEN. This is in accord with the biblical account of CHRIST’S death and with church tradition, which asserts that Peter was also crucified, but Paul, a Roman citizen, was beheaded.

Crucifixion as a means of execution probably grew out of the practice of displaying the heads of captured enemies or criminals on a wooden stake, like those used to build a wall or erect fortifications. Later, entire bodies were impaled. By Jesus time, crucifixion was a common sight.

Although methods of crucifixion seem to have varied throughout the Roman Empire, through biblical and historical accounts the basic pattern is known. The condemned person was first scourged with a flagellum, a whip of leather thongs with bits of metal or bone attached. This whipping greatly weakened the victim, who then had to carry the crossbeam to the place of execution. A sign specifying the crime was often placed around the criminal’s neck or on the cross. The person was stripped naked, laid on the ground with the crossbeam under his shoulders, and tied or nailed to it. Nailing made the victim die quicker, as it did Jesus,

The Agony of being nailed to the cross (Photo by Pastor Davis)

The Agony of being nailed to the cross (Photo by Pastor Davis)

whom the Jewish officials wanted dead before the Sabbath. The crossbeam was lifted and secured to a post so that the person’s feet were hanging just off the ground. Some archaeologists think a pin or wooden block was placed halfway up the post to provide a seat for the body so that the nails would not tear open the wounds, causing the body to fall. The feet also could be nailed or tied to the post.

Although the pain was excruciating, some victims survived on the cross for days. As in the case of the two criminals crucified with Jesus, the legs of a crucified person were sometimes broken to make the sufferer die. This caused massive shock, followed by loss of circulation and heart failure.

Although completely innocent of all sin, Jesus suffered the most horrible, disgraceful punishment known. But His agonizing death was not an ordinary death, for it was not the final chapter. Jesus turned this apparent defeat into the most glorious victory the world has ever known. At the Cross, He suffered for the sins of the world. Then after His resurrection from the dead three days later, Jesus empowered His disciples with a new message, the Good News that He had finally defeated the power of sin and death. Through the Cross, Jesus offers salvation to all who will believe in Him.

The Resurrection of Christ (Kinnaird Resurrection)

The Resurrection of Christ (Kinnaird Resurrection) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now listen to the words Jesus spoke to his disciples, He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

And ye are witnesses of these things.  And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” (Luke 24:46-49 KJV)

As this story clearly shows, there is power in the word for those who believe. God never makes a promise that he cannot fulfilled. It is up to you to always stand on God’s promise, believe it and watch God work in your life.

When the light seems to be the dimmest and the enemy is attacking you on all fronts it is time to stand still and watch God work. With God there is nothing that is impossible. God is truth, he is also the light, when you know the truth, not what you perceive is the truth, but what God has spoken of as truth, you can rest assured that you will have peace in your life, and your soul will be free to experience the manifestation of that truth and the light that God has promised. No weapon that the enemy may train its sights on you with, can penetrate the armor that God places around you. You are a child of God, and God will never allow any harm to come to those who keep his word, stand on faith, and not be swayed like the motions of the ocean, always going back and forth.

Now know this, God wants you to experience victory over all aspects of your life. He allowed himself to experience a horrible death on the cross in order that you might enjoy the fruits of life. He defeated sin and death in order that you may have eternal life. What more can anyone ask for, to know that if you believe in the word, except the word as ruler of your life, you can experience the joy and satisfaction of knowing that you can have victory over the world.

Now in closing, let me state that believers today should always look to the cross in understanding GOD’S

The Cross is the Symbol of God's amazing grace (Photo by Pastor Davis)

The Cross is the Symbol of God’s amazing grace (Photo by Pastor Davis)

PLAN and purpose for their lives. The cross is no joke; it is the reality of Christ’s death for your victory over the world. You can continue to live in this world, partying and having fun, proclaiming that you are a Christian, but remember, your actions speak louder than your words. Jesus was not pretending when he allowed himself to be executed for our sins. We should obey the Lord in every detail as we seek to live a Christian life as we help those that are lost in Christ, find their way and understanding of THE HEART OF THE CROSS and what salvation truly means in their lives. If we truly want to know how to live a perfect life and experience victory over the enemy attacks on our well being, then I say to you right here in now, turn away from the world and look to Jesus as the perfect example.

May this lesson today be a blessing to your life and the people that God has placed in your life as a blessing to your soul.  Now we encourage you to use it, to bless others that we all may receive and experience God’s amazing grace.  I minister to you today from a position of peace, purpose, power and prosperity. I remain your brother in Christ, Pastor Davis/Master Teacher.

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SIMON OF CYRENE WAS THE BLACK HANDS THAT HELP TO CARRY THE CROSS

SIMON OF CYRENE WAS THE BLACK HANDS THAT HELP TO CARRY THE CROSS

Simon of Cyrene the black hands that helped carry the cross (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

Simon of Cyrene the black hands that helped carry the cross (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

And when they had [finished] making sport of Him, they took the purple [robe] off Him and put His own clothes on Him. And they led Him out [of the city] to crucify Him.

And they forced a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus, who was coming in from the field (country), to carry His cross.

And they led Him to Golgotha [in Latin: Calvary], meaning The Place of a Skull.  (Mark 15:20-22 AMP).

In verse 21, Mark tells us that Simon of Cyrene, was coming into the city from the countryside into the city of Jerusalem, but the Lord was traveling out of the city.  These two men were traveling in opposite directions.  Simon was coming in and the Lord was going out being led by the Roman Soldiers and a large crowd of haters.  Simon suddenly found himself turned around at the instructions of the Centurion and finds his life walking in exactly the opposite direction from where he was first headed.  Meeting Christ at this point and being forced to place his hands on the cross and carry it would be a life changing experience for him.

Now some of you might ask, “why would he ever mention Simon of Cyrene as the Black Hands on the cross, and how would he even know that Simon of Cyrene was a Black Man?  For those of you who are truth seekers, these would be legitimate questions to ask.  For me as a Minister of the Gospel, called and ordained to come boldly before the throne of grace, and speak truth to power, convince, rebuke, exhort and teach, it is my job to empower you with knowledge in order that you may know the truth and the truth will truly set you free.  (John 8:32)

For me to state here with absolute certain that Simon of Cyrene was a Black Man is impossible.  This is a question that has been debated by Scholars worldwide for hundreds of years.  However, I should start by pointing out it is difficult to determine with accuracy black men and women in the Bible because the Bible is color-neutral. There is never any reference to race or racial features. The main distinction throughout the Bible is between those that serve God and those that do not, whether as individuals or as nations. It is not definite that everyone from Ethiopia or Cyrene was black, but certainly you could reasonably assume that it was a good possibility. So this study will have to be considered reasonable speculation.

We know very little about Simon. We see from this Mark’s writing that he had come from the country to Jerusalem on this occasion, perhaps on business. He must have been a strong man. I don’t think the soldiers would have picked a weakling. God had appointed him to be there, not to help Jesus with the cross, but to encounter the one who was to be crucified for his sins. Except for Mark’s obscure reference to Rufus and Alexander we would have no more information about Simon.

What we do know about Simon called Niger is his name.  Simon is a Jewish name and Niger comes from the Latin word for “black”.  It’s safe to say he was Jewish and may have been called “Black” simply because of his looks.

Research shows that Simon of Cyrene was from a country in ancient northern Africa (bordering Egypt) called Libya. According to Spirit of English Magazine Vol. 10, pg. 286; in ancient times Libya contained two countries Cyrenaica and Marmarica.  Wikipedia [the on line encyclopedia], shares that Libya was until recent times, the home of one the oldest Jewish communities in the world, dating back to at least 300 BC. In the 1st century, the Jewish historian for the Roman Empire, Josephus Flavius, noted 500,000 Jews lived in Libya. By today’s standards, people from North Africa may or may not be classified as Black. The New Testament, let’s us in on the fact that Joseph, Mary and Jesus spent time in Egypt, This raises an equally intriguing question as to whether or not Simon’s friend, Joseph of Marmarica (a.k.a. Joseph of Marmore, Joseph of Arimathea, brother of Jesus’ grandmother) from the neighboring district of Marmonica/Marmarica, should also be classified as African or Black. –Satchell Intell.

We find here in (Matthew 27:32 NKJV).  Simon of Cyrene was from Ethiopia, and this text and the identity of this man clearly reminds us all of us today that all cultures were represented at Calvary and in the church.  This further reminds us that wise men of all ages would be honored to be allowed to perform the task that was conferred upon Simon of Cyrene, the Ethiopia from northwestern Africa.  Whether it was voluntary or by force, in any case, black hands were extended to help the Savior bear His cross.  The Ethiopian eunuch from Africa (Acts 8:26) was the first Gentile convert mentioned by name in the Book of Acts.  History reports that he returned to Ethiopia to found the Abyssinian Christian Church, which exists until this day.

May God’s saving grace, be with each one of you whose hands, regardless of their color, feel obligated to pick-up your cross and carry it this day be blessed with love, peace and power.  Only because Jesus loved all of us and died for our sins so we may  have the opportunity to celebrate his life, death and resurrection on this EASTER.

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NICODEMUS QUESTION JESUS ON HOW A PERSON CAN BE BORN AGAIN

Jesus and Nicodemus, Crijn Hendricksz, 1616–1645.

Jesus and Nicodemus, Crijn Hendricksz, 1616–1645. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NICODEMUS QUESTION JESUS ON HOW A PERSON CAN BE BORN AGAIN

Good Morning my brothers and sisters, today we continue our teaching on Nicodemus visit with Jesus in the cover of dark and as a teacher finds himself being taught by the Master Teacher. I love this story and I hope you do also.  Now listen up as the truth speaks to your soul.

Nicodemus as a teacher in his own right found himself in an odd position of being taught when he asked Jesus this question: “How can anyone,” said Nicodemus, “Be born who has already been born and grown up? You can’t re-enter your mother’s womb and be born again. What are you saying with this ‘born-from-above’ talk?”  By his own lack of knowledge, Nicodemus was now in for a rude awaken, and Jesus was about to teach him and all of us a lesson in how to be born again that neither he nor we would ever soon forget.

Now as we have studied the scriptures and heard many sermons preached that Jesus was known for his skills as a Master Teacher, and of course Nicodemus was a respected teacher of IsraelNicodemus was part of a group whose prestige had suffered the most because of Jesus popularity.  The Pharisees were the conservatives in Israel.  They held all the Scriptures in high regard.  They believed in eternal life.  They were the ones most people thought would be able to identify the long-awaited Messiah and announce Him to the people.

Unfortunately, the Pharisees had begun to think of the coming Messiah as one who would elevate and honor them when He came.  But Jesus showed no inclination to do this.  Instead, He called all to repentance, even the Pharisees.  He made it painfully clear to the Pharisees that their devotion to Scripture was undermined by their tendency to apply it wrongly and to exalt themselves over others.  Although they had diligently studied the Scriptures, they had not learned the central truths of Scripture: Justice, mercy, and faith (Matt. 23:23).

In this lesson, we understand that Jesus and Nicodemus had a private conversation late one night.  We do not know whether Nicodemus had an appointment.  We do not know what he wanted to say.  Nicodemus came to Jesus, but Jesus guided the conversation from the start.  In effect, Nicodemus took a step in the right direction, and Jesus met him more than halfway.

Nicodemus said to Jesus, “Rabbi, we all know you’re a teacher straight from God. No one could do all the God-pointing, God-revealing acts you do if God weren’t in on it.”

Jesus said, “You’re absolutely right. Take it from me: Unless a person is born from above, it’s not possible to see what I’m pointing to—to God’s kingdom.”  If Nicodemus purpose was to find out for himself whether Jesus was really a teacher from God, he did not have to wait long.  Instead of defending His own credentials, Jesus offered Nicodemus an eternal lesson.

How can anyone,” said Nicodemus, “be born who has already been born and grown up? You can’t re-enter your mother’s womb and be born again. What are you saying with this ‘born-from-above’ talk?”

Jesus said, “You’re not listening. Let me say it again. Unless a person submits to this original creation—the ‘wind-hovering-over-the-water’ creation, the invisible moving the visible, a baptism into a new life—it’s not possible to enter God’s kingdom. When you look at a baby, it’s just that: a body you can look at and touch. “But the person who takes shape within is formed by something you can’t see and touch—the Spirit—and becomes a living spirit.”

Jesus take no prisoner’s way of teaching had to one of the toughest teachers Nicodemus had ever had to encounter. He allowed Jesus to challenge his understanding.  He did not shrink from revealing his ignorance about the second birth.  He listened.  In spite of the fact that he was a teacher, he was willing to be taught.  Jesus did not disappoint.

Now I ask of you, to join Nicodemus here this night and listen to how a Master Teacher teaches the lesson of our New Birth.  He says, “So don’t be so surprised when I tell you that you have to be ‘born from above’—out of this world, so to speak. You know well enough how the wind blows this way and that. You hear it rustling through the trees, but you have no idea where it comes from or where it’s headed next. That’s the way it is with everyone ‘born from above’ by the wind of God, the Spirit of God.”

Nicodemus asked, “What do you mean by this? How does this happen?”

Jesus said, “You’re a respected teacher of Israel and you don’t know these basics? Listen carefully. I’m speaking sober truth to you. I speak only of what I know by experience; I give witness only to what I have seen with my own eyes. There is nothing secondhand here, no hearsay. Yet instead of facing the evidence and accepting it, you procrastinate with questions. If I tell you things that are plain as the hand before your face and you don’t believe me, what use is there in telling you of things you can’t see, the things of God?

“No one has ever gone up into the presence of God except the One who came down from that Presence, the Son of Man. In the same way that Moses lifted the serpent in the desert so people could have something to see and then believe, it is necessary for the Son of Man to be lifted up—and everyone who looks up to him, trusting and expectant, will gain a real life, eternal life.

When we know the truth, the truth will set us free, and here we can see clearly that Jesus provided Nicodemus with the gospel truth, and Nicodemus was able to see the light that night and experience God’s love from the Master Teacher because Nicodemus character was changed that very night.  What about you, have you seen the light and excepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior?

NICODEMUS VISITS JESUS UNDER THE COVER OF DARK

 NICODEMUS VISITS JESUS UNDER THE COVER OF DARK 

THE MOON SHINES BRIGHT IN THE BLACK TIMELESS NIGHT (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

THE MOON SHINES BRIGHT IN THE BLACK TIMELESS NIGHT (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

Why did Nicodemus wait until the cover of dark to visit with Jesus?  This is a question that has been debated by scholars for centuries, and unfortunately the scriptures do not give us a crystal clear and compelling answer.  However, what we do know is this, “Nicodemus is a Pharisee at the top of his field. Not only is he a member of the Sanhedrin, he is the most renowned Bible teacher of his day.  We also know that the Jewish religious leaders were divided into several groups.  Two of the most prominent groups were the Pharisees and the Sadducees.  The Pharisees separated themselves from anything non-Jewish and carefully followed both the Old Testament laws and the oral traditions handed down through the centuries.  As a “leader,” he was a member of the Jewish ruling council.  Although the Romans controlled Israel politically, the Jews were given some authority over religious and minor civil disputes.  The Jewish ruling body was the council made up of seventy-one of Israel’s religious leaders.

The question before us is still, “why did Nicodemus wait until the cover of dark to visit Jesus and

Jesus and Nicodemus, Crijn Hendricksz, 1616–1645.

Jesus and Nicodemus, Crijn Hendricksz, 1616–1645. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

what motivated him to come in the first place?”  Under the cover of darkness, this well respected and influential religious man, this prominent national leader of noble decent and inherited wealth, this intellectual man who wielded great religious authority, this designated secret spokesman who represented some of his colleagues from the Jewish ruling council, waits until the cover of darkness to sneak in for a visit with Jesus.  This remains me of the way some of us prefer to do things [under the cover of darkness].

However, this question still rattles our brain, but from what we understand from scripture, we can try and fill in some of the blanks.  First, we know that Nicodemus was both impressed and curious about Jesus and chose to form his opinions about him from firsthand conversation.  Second, it is possible that he did not want to be seen with Jesus in broad daylight because he feared reproach from his fellow Pharisees (who did not believe in Jesus as the Messiah).  Finally, it might not have been fear that brought Nicodemus in the cover of dark; but it is possible that he chose a time when he could talk alone and at length with the popular teacher who was often surrounded by people.

Living in the Darkness of the Night (Photo by Pastor Davis)

Living in the Darkness of the Night (Photo by Pastor Davis)

No matter how we look at this question, how we think about it as it might relate to us, it still remains that Nicodemus chose the cover of dark to visit with Jesus.  However, what Nicodemus did not know are understand was that his own night was blacker than he knew.  He was living in complete darkness and he did not know that truth, was about to be revealed to him.

Now as he sit before the Master Teacher, this is what Jesus tells him, “So don’t be so surprised when I tell you that you have to be ‘born from above’—out of this world, so to speak. You know well enough how the wind blows this way and that. You hear it rustling through the trees, but you have no idea where it comes from or where it’s headed next. That’s the way it is with everyone ‘born from above’ by the wind of God, the Spirit of God.”

Nicodemus asked, “What do you mean by this? How does this happen?”

Jesus said, “You’re a respected teacher of Israel and you don’t know these basics? Listen carefully. I’m speaking sober truth to you. I speak only of what I know by experience; I give witness only to what I have seen with my own eyes. There is nothing secondhand here, no hearsay. Yet instead of facing the evidence and accepting it, you procrastinate with questions. If I tell you things that are plain as the hand before your face and you don’t believe me, what use is there in telling you of things you can’t see, the things of God?

“This is the crisis we’re in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won’t come near it, fearing a painful exposure. But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is.”

What a tragedy that people have turned away from God’s offer, embracing instead the darkness in hopes of covering up evil actions.  There is probably no more painful moment than when we honestly confront our tendency to love darkness, to twist or withhold the truth.  The Son did not come to judge, but in the light of his character the sharp shadows of our sinfulness stand out.  The people who hate the light are those who want to sin in the darkness.  Evil deeds are revealed by the light, so people who want to do evil must do it in the dark so they cannot be exposed and caught in the act.

According to the context, to do what is right is to come to Christ, the light; the result of coming to the light and living in the light will be clearly seen in believer’s lives.  Christ’s life in us will make our lives able to stand exposure to bright light, for our deeds will be honest, pure, and truthful.  Now we can truly see that Nicodemus was able to see the light that night and experience God love from the Master Teacher because Nicodemus character was changed that very night under the cover of darkness with a meeting with the Master Teacher.

In closing, I leave you with this question, “Are you a modern day Nicodemus, living in the darkness, and seeking answers?”  Know that it is time to open yourself up and be exposed to God’s shining light.  Know the truth and the truth will set you FREE.

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WE ARE SERVANTS CALLED TO SERVE

WE ARE SERVANTS CALLED TO SERVE

CHILDREN FROM THE EMMANUEL CHURCH OF INDIA LIFTING UP HOLY HANDS IN PRAISE AND WORSHIP FOR OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST

CHILDREN FROM THE EMMANUEL CHURCH OF INDIA LIFTING UP HOLY HANDS IN PRAISE AND WORSHIP FOR OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST

My Brothers and Sisters let us prepare our hearts and minds for our Sunday prayer praise and worship service. For it is truly a moment and time that we can serve God, worship him in his high place, and serve each other. We are servants call to serve mankind. Expressing our love for each other is a form off service. For the Lord our God has granted us the freedom and opportunity to go to our jobs, our businesses, our schools and serve mankind. Now he is calling us as servants to come forth lift up our holy hands and serve him.
Now listen to what Paul tells us to do, He says, “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love, serve one another.” (Galatians 5:13 ESV) Let us take heed to Paul’s message, be obedient servants, serve God and each other, do not allow the devil to steal our joy, our freedom, and our ability to come before the throne of grace and praise God.

Being given our freedom to serve does not mean that we have freedom to sin. Let us keep our eye on the prize, which is Jesus Christ. Let this Freedom encourage us to have a heart for service. As a Christian we know that our freedom is in Christ Jesus, and this would exclude any possible thought that it might ever mean freedom to sin. Let us understand this one very important fact, and that we are to love one another as Jesus Christ’s has love each one of us.

For I can say to you today that a proper outlet for our freedom is simply this: “make it a habit to be slaves one to another.” Now listen to what Jesus tells us, “If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.” (John 12:26 ESV)

Therefore my brothers and sisters let us prepare our hearts and minds to lifted up the Lord our God in prayer praise and worship this Sunday morning. Then let us go out and serve our fellowman. Becoming a true servant of the Lord, doing his will in the manner in which he will have us to do it in. Let us love one another with all our hearts, minds and our soul. Be on one accord with each other in order that our heavenly father will honor each of us. Always remember, “WE ARE SERVANTS CALLED TO SERVE!”

SITTING AT THE DINING TABLE WITH JESUS

SITTING AT THE DINING TABLE WITH JESUS

CHILDREN OF GOD, BROTHERS AND SISTERS, CHRISTIANS AND FRIENDS; I set before you this morning a very personal question for you to ponder if you have never pondered it before.  What would it be like to sit down at the dining table with Jesus and enjoy both a physical and spiritual meal with Jesus?  What are your thoughts?

THE LORD’S SUPPER (Photo by Pastor Davis)

Today, you have entered into the upper room where I am your waiter and Jesus has given me instructions to serve up all who enters in and sits down at the table to sup with Him.  On the menu today are three very special spiritual dishes.  They are REGENERATION, SANCTIFICATION and GLORIFICATION

Now let us begin with REGENERATION; this is where the Spirit of God indwells a repentant sinner and imparts eternal life to his or her spiritually dead soul. (Eph. 2:1-5). People who are spiritually dead have no communication with God.  These people are physically alive, but their sins have rendered them spiritually unresponsive, alienated from God, and thus incapable of experiencing the full life that God could give them.

Listen clearly to what I have to say, because your soul needs regeneration.  It wasn’t so long ago that you

Entering the tunnel of life after death

were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It’s a wonder God didn’t lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah.  He revived us, and now He wants us to live, love and enjoy our spiritual meal and share it with all others.

Now let us serve you with the spiritual meal of SANCTIFICATION; It is the process in which God develops the new life of the believer and gradually brings it to perfection. (Eph. 6:11, Phil. 1:6).

In your new spiritual life you are going to come face to face with evil spirits.  God wants you to be prepared to fight and win.  Therefore, please understand the reason you are sitting at the dining table with Jesus.  His goal is to prepare you, then empower you before sending you into battle with the evil forces of darkness.  Know that God’s strength and power are part of the Kingdom blessings available to all God’s people.  You need to put on all God’s armor, the divine and complete outfit that God gives believers in order to provide all we need to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil.  The Devil rules the world of darkness, the kingdom opposed to God.

And that about wraps it up; God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.  Our ability to stand firm depends on our use of the armor.

Now our final meal for the day is GLORIFICATION; It is the ultimate salvation of the whole person. (Phil. 3:21). God wants to make us whole, are you ready to sit at this table and enjoy the fruits of peace?

When Christ returns, he will conquer everything, everywhere.  There will be no more sin, no more evil rulers, and no more persecution of believers.  Christ will be King of Kings and Lord of lords, ruler over all.  (Revelation 19:11-16).  With that same power, he will transform all believers’ weak mortal bodies into glorious bodies like Christ’s resurrected body.  Our identities will not change, but our bodies will be like Jesus glorified body.  This won’t be an external resemblance, but we will share his nature and life.

In conclusion, I ask, what did you receive from “SITTING AT THE DINING TABLE WITH JESUS?”

TAKE A WALK WITH JESUS

Take A WALK WITH JESUS:

"THE JOURNEY OF ANTICIPATION" PHOTO BY SHIRLEY RHODES

“THE JOURNEY OF ANTICIPATION” PHOTO BY SHIRLEY RHODES

WRITTEN BY SHIRLEY RHODES:

Are you facing challenging times, wondering which way to go? Consider the master Jesus, in him all your needs are met because you are his child, his master-piece.

Open your heart and be willing to receive, listen to what Jesus says; embrace him soul, body and spirit. In your walk, become a diligent follower of truth and power. As we set aside time to TAKE A WALK WITH JESUS, we are magnified with strength, grace and genuine love in our hearts for one another.

Now, let’s begin our journey as we TAKE A WALK WITH JESUS: Jesus says,” I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which you have given me for they are mine. I have given them my word and the world hates them because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I don’t pray that you should take them out of the world but that you keep them from evil (John 17: 9, 14-16 NKJV).

We are always in the heart and mind of God and he watches over us at all times. Jesus walked among mankind in the flesh, he always shared the message; the urgency of getting to know and live like him, he was always at work designing a pattern for each of us to follow which was based on love, patience, and kindness; never taking credit for himself, always reverence to God the Father.

Let’s “TAKE A WALK WITH JESUS” as he reminds us of what he has to offer:

The Word was first, the Word was present with God in readiness from day one (John 1:1).  Jesus says, “Truly, truly I say unto you, except a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; that which is born of the Spirit is spirit; marvel not that I say you must be born again” (3: 5-7).

Bread of life:

Jesus says, “I am the bread of life: he that comes to me shall never hunger; and he that believe on me shall never thirst (John6: 35). For I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me, and this is His will that all he have given me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day” (38, 39 ).

"MAY THE LIGHT ALWAYS GUIDE US" PHOTO BY SHIRLEY RHODES

“MAY THE LIGHT ALWAYS GUIDE US” PHOTO BY SHIRLEY RHODES

Jesus says, “I am the light of the world; he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. You judge after the flesh, I judge no man. I am the one that bear witness of me, and the father that sent me bears witness of me (John: 8:12).  I am the door, by me if any man enter in he shall be saved and shall go in and out and be nourished. The thief comes to steal, kill and to destroy: I come that that they might have life, more abundant life. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep (10: 9-11). I am the resurrection and the life, he that believe in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; whom-ever believe in me shall never die (11:25-26). I am the way, the truth and the life (John14:6); I AM the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman, every branch in me that bears not fruit he takes away, every branch that bears fruit he prunes it , that it may bring forth more fruit” (John 15:1-2)

During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. ( 8) Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered (9) and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him (Hebrew 5:7-9 NIV). As we journey day by day let us be reminded that Gods’ watchful eye is upon us; and as we TAKE A WALK WITH JESUS we are experiencing an exciting part of a journey called “Love”. May he grant you according to your heart desire; and fulfill all your purpose… (Psalm: 20:4).

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE “BLESSED” AND HIGHLY FAVORED?

JESUS SERMON ON THE MOUNT

THE BLESSED MAN (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

THE BLESSED MAN (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

Let us begin by understanding the word “BLESSED.”  It is a Greek word that is derived from the root mak, which means “large or “lengthy,” and means “fortunate” or “happy.”  The Greek word was used in Greek literature, in the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament,)  and in the New Testament to describe the kind of happiness that comes from receiving divine favor.  The word can be rendered happy.  In the New Testament, it is usually passive; God is the One who is blessing or favoring the person.  God says the Blessed person is a “Happy Person” and He describes that person in this manner, BLESSED is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” ( Psalm 1:1-2)

In the Beatitudes, each one describes how to Be Blessed.”  They describe how the followers of Christ should live their lives.  To be blessed means more than happiness, it means to be “favored” and “approved” by God.

THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount and it challenged the teaching of the proud and legalistic religious leaders of the day. It called people back to the messages of the Old Testament prophets who, like Jesus, had taught that God wants heartfelt obedience, not mere legalistic observing of laws and rituals.

The most well-known portion of the Sermon on the Mount is known as the Beatitudes. These are, a series of “blessings,” promised to those who exhibit, the attitude of God’s kingdom. They are called the “Beatitudes.”

In verse three, we note that the Beatitudes describe how Christ’s followers should live. According to worldly standards, the type of people whom Jesus described does not seem to be particularly blessed by God. However, God’s way of living usually contradicts the world.  Jesus explained that “God blessed those who realize their need for him, for the kingdom of heaven is given to them.” Only those who humbly depend on God are admitted into the Kingdom of Heaven. The final consummation of all these rewards, and of the kingdom itself, lies in the future. However, the believers can already share in the kingdom by living out Jesus words.

In verse four it seems a contradiction in terms, Jesus explained that “God blesses those mourn, for they will be comforted,” tied with a Beatitudes in verse three, this means that humility (realization of one’s unworthiness before God) also require sorrow for sins.  Whether Jesus followers mourn for sin or in suffering, God’s promise is sure that they will be comforted. Only God can take away sorrow for sin; only God can forgive and erase it. Only God can give comfort to those who suffer for his sake because they know their reward in the kingdom.

Blessed (happy, blithesome, joyous, spiritually prosperous–with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the meek (the mild, patient, long-suffering), for they shall inherit the earth!

Blessed and fortunate and happy and spiritually prosperous (in that state in which the born-again child of God [d]enjoys His favor and salvation) are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God), for they shall be [e]completely satisfied!(B)

Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous–with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy!

Blessed (happy, enviably fortunate, and spiritually prosperous–possessing the happiness produced by the experience of God’s favor and especially conditioned by the revelation of His grace, regardless of their outward conditions) are the pure in heart, for they shall see God!(C)

Blessed (enjoying [l]enviable happiness, spiritually prosperous–with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the makers and [o]maintainers of peace, for they shall be called the sons of God!

Blessed and happy and enviably fortunate and spiritually prosperous (in the state in which the born-again child of God enjoys and finds satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of his outward conditions) are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake (for being and doing right), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven!

Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous–with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of your outward conditions) are you when people revile you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil things against you falsely on My account.

Be glad and supremely joyful, for your reward in heaven is great (strong and intense), for in this same way people persecuted the prophets who were before you. [II Chron. 36:16.]

Finally, Jesus described the way the disciples should respond to persecution; “be happy about it!” “Be very glad!” This refers to deep spiritual joy that is unhindered and unchanged by what happens in this present life. A person with righteous character can rejoice and be glad because of a promise: a great reward awaits you in heaven. The persecution will pale in comparison to the great reward.

Please click on this short video clip as our final part of this lesson.

Now we encourage you to use the Knowledge you have gained from studying this powerful message taught by Jesus as a way to go out and Bless someone else this day.  For you are a true blessing to all of us here at Vine and Branch World Ministries. We love you and appreciate each one of you for the work you do in building the Kingdom of God.  May you continue to enjoy His Peace and beauty of all things this day.  In the name of Jesus, we pray Amen!

GOD IS OUR LIFE GIVER THROUGH JESUS CHRIST

GOD IS OUR LIFE GIVER THROUGH JESUS CHRIST

 Written by Shirley Rhodes

Life (Photo by Pastor Davis)  FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, THAT WHOSOEVER BELIEVE IN HIS SHALL NOT PERISH BUT HAVE ETERNAL LIFE…

In our lesson today, let me share with you God’s word on living your life in the fullness of all that He has provided you through Jesus Christ.  The Scriptures teaches us in John 8:32, to know the truth and the truth will set you free.  This lesson presents you with five key ingredients of that truth to help you live the life God has purposed for you.

Now let us understand that our Life is given to us through Jesus Christ; he knows our thoughts, desires and what we need even when we make decisions or choices that lead us astray.  One good thing about a relationship with him is that he understands when we make honest mistakes. There may be times that we as believers will not see how the Holy Spirit is directing our lives or may rely on or receive bad advice from a friend. God looks at the heart and may even allow poor judgment (decisions) to run its course, but he will not shame his children for an honest error, he can (and will) often turn what seem like a bad situation into something good for his own use. If God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking of your-self more than of him. He offers us hope, faith, love, joy and peace; it’s all there, so grab hold.

Life in Hope:

Although times may seem hard at the present moment there is still hope. Paul gives us a glimpse of what it’s like living in expectancy when he penned these thoughts; I don’t think there’s any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times. Difficult times of pain throughout the world are around us and within us, the Spirit of God is arousing us within; the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our wait. When we get tired of waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. He does our praying in and for us, he knows us far better than we know ourselves (Romans 8: 9-28, MGS)

Life in Faith:

By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.  This is what the ancients were commended for; Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and so many more moved in faith. All were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. People who say such things show they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country–a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them (Hebrews 11:1-16, NIV).

Life of Love:

Jesus says, “If any of you wants to serve me, and then follow me, then you’ll be where I am, the Father will honor anyone who serves me.” (John 12: 26 KJV). He commands that we live a life of love for every-one, that means that no matter how someone my treat you or what they say about you, you are to love unconditionally.  Jesus says, “If you love me you will keep my commandments (John 14:15 KJV). This is my commandment, love one another as I have loved you, greater love have no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends.” For God have not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7 KJV).  This is how we know we’re living steadily and deeply in him, He’s given us life from his life, from his very own Spirit (1 John 4:13 MGS). God is love. The scriptures remind us, that if anyone boasts, “I love God,” and hates his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see? The command we have from God is blunt: Loving God includes loving people, you’ve got to love both (20, 21 MGS).

Joy (gladness):

They that sow in tears shall reap in joy (Psalm 126:5).

Peace (calm response):

The Lord will give strength to his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace (Psalm 29:11).

WE ARE PROCLAIMING THE I AM THAT LIVES IN EACH ONE OF US

WE ARE PROCLAIMING THE I AM THAT LIVES IN EACH ONE OF US

GOD IS THE I AM AND THE LIGHT OF THE UNIVERSE (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

GOD IS THE I AM AND THE LIGHT OF THE UNIVERSE (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

“I AM WHO I AM.  These simple words have been an enigma to man for centuries.  He has reasoned that there must be a great mystical significance in them, and has meditated at length in hope that the enigma might be resolved.  At the risk of oversimplification let us alter the tempo, the emphasis we put on the words.  In doing so, they may well give depth of insight to us.  “I AM WHO I AM.” Perhaps the infinite wisdom of our one transcendent God is saying to us that the “I AM” in you has arrived at some degree of self-awareness.  Could it be that He is saying, ”I Am not something apart; I am that something in you that has perceived of identity”?

The Lord has spoken to us, and He has proclaimed, that He is, the, “I AM!” He said, “I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness (Isaiah 42:6a ESV)

I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. (John 10:9 ESV)

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6 ESV)

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.” (John 11:25c,d ESV)

“I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. (John 6:35 ESV).

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.  He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. (John 10:11-13 ESV)

I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.  (John 10:14 ESV).

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.  Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.  (John 15:1-4 ESV)

 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bear much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

I am the Vine and you are the Branches.  When you learn the truth of who the “I AM,” that lives in you and come into the full and complete knowledge and understanding that, “In him was life, and the life was the light of men (John 1:4a ESV,”) then you will know the truth of these final words spoken by Jesus when he said, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my DISCIPLES. (John 15:7-8 ESV).

We bless this word to you that it may stir up the Holy Spirit that is alive inside of you and seeking the release of its full and unlimited powers that will propel you to any place or heights that you may desire.  The choice is yours, what do you believe?
 

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE “BLESSED” AND HIGHLY FAVORED?

JESUS SERMON ON THE MOUNT

On this day as you begin to read and study this lesson, pause your thoughts and think on where you are in your life’s journey and know that the reason you are where you are is only by the mercy and grace of God’s favor.  He has touched each one of us in a very special way and given us an opportunity to look within ourselves and understand why we are Blessed and Highly Favored on this day and all the days of our lives.

Now let us begin this study by first understanding the word “BLESSED.”  It is a Greek word that is derived from the root mak, which means “large or “lengthy,” and means “fortunate” or “happy.”  The Greek word was used in Greek literature, in the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament,)  and in the New Testament to describe the kind of happiness that comes from receiving divine favor.  The word can be rendered happy.  In the New Testament, it is usually passive; God is the One who is blessing or favoring the person.  God says the Blessed person is a “Happy Person” and He describes that person in this manner, BLESSED is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” ( Psalm 1:1-2)

OUR BLESSINGS AND FAVOR ARE IN THE RISING OF THE SUN (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

OUR BLESSINGS AND FAVOR ARE IN THE RISING OF THE SUN (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

In the Beatitudes, each one describes how to Be Blessed.”  They describe how the followers of Christ should live their lives.  To be blessed means more than happiness, it means to be “favored” and “approved” by God.

Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount and it challenged the teaching of the proud and legalistic religious leaders of the day. It called people back to the messages of the Old Testament prophets who, like Jesus, had taught that God wants heartfelt obedience, not mere legalistic observing of laws and rituals.

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber ...

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber to be an example of a charismatic religious leader. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The most well-known portion of the Sermon on the Mount is known as the Beatitudes. These are, a series of “blessings,” promised to those who exhibit, the attitude of God’s kingdom. They are called the “Beatitudes.”

In verse three, we note that the Beatitudes describe how Christ’s followers should live. According to worldly standards, the type of people whom Jesus described does not seem to be particularly blessed by God. However, God’s way of living usually contradicts the world.  Jesus explained that “God blessed those who realize their need for him, for the kingdom of heaven is given to them.” Only those who humbly depend on God are admitted into the Kingdom of Heaven. The final consummation of all these rewards, and of the kingdom itself, lies in the future. However, the believers can already share in the kingdom by living out Jesus words.

In verse four it seems a contradiction in terms, Jesus explained that “God blesses those mourn, for they will be comforted,” tied with a Beatitudes in verse three, this means that humility (realization of one’s unworthiness before God) also require sorrow for sins.  Whether Jesus followers mourn for sin or in suffering, God’s promise is sure that they will be comforted. Only God can take away sorrow for sin; only God can forgive and erase it. Only God can give comfort to those who suffer for his sake because they know their reward in the kingdom.

Blessed (happy, blithesome, joyous, spiritually prosperous–with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the meek (the mild, patient, long-suffering), for they shall inherit the earth!

Blessed and fortunate and happy and spiritually prosperous (in that state in which the born-again child of God [d]enjoys His favor and salvation) are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God), for they shall be completely satisfied!

Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous–with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy!

Blessed (happy, enviably fortunate, and spiritually prosperous–possessing the happiness produced by the experience of God’s favor and especially conditioned by the revelation of His grace, regardless of their outward conditions) are the pure in heart, for they shall see God!

Blessed (enjoying [l]enviable happiness, spiritually prosperous–with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the makers and maintainers of peace, for they shall be called the sons of God!

Blessed and happy and enviably fortunate and spiritually prosperous [r](in the state in which the born-again child of God enjoys and finds satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of his outward conditions) are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake (for being and doing right), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven!

Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous–with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of your outward conditions) are you when people revile you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil things against you falsely on My account.

Be glad and supremely joyful, for your reward in heaven is great (strong and intense), for in this same way people persecuted the prophets who were before you. [II Chron. 36:16.]

Finally, Jesus described the way the disciples should respond to persecution; “be happy about it!” “Be very glad!” This refers to deep spiritual joy that is unhindered and unchanged by what happens in this present life. A person with righteous character can rejoice and be glad because of a promise: a great reward awaits you in heaven. The persecution will pale in comparison to the great reward.

Now I pray that this lesson speaks to each one of your hearts and you will fill the love, joy, peace and blessings that surround each one of you in a powerful way and that you will use this opportunity to bless someone else on this special day.  It is truly the first day of the rest of your life.  We love you and appreciate all that each one of you are doing to advance the work in God’s Kingdom.

 

THE RESUME OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST

THE RESUME OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST 

THE RESUME OF JESUS CHRIST (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

THE RESUME OF JESUS CHRIST (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

 

THE RESUME OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST 

ADDRESS:  Ephesians 1:20
Phone: Romans 10:13

I’m seeking the top management position in your heart.  Please consider my accomplishments as set forth in my resume.

QUALIFICATION:

I founded the earth and established the heavens, (See Proverbs 3:19)

I formed man from the dust of the ground, (See Genesis 2:7)

I breathed into man the breath of life, (See Genesis 2:7)

I redeemed man from the curse of the law, (See Galatians 3:13)

The blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant comes upon your life through me, (See Galatians 3:14)

OCCUPATIONAL BACKGROUND:

I’ve only had one employer, (See Luke 2:49).

I’ve never been tardy, absent, disobedient, slothful or disrespectful.

My employer has nothing but rave reviews for me, (See Matthew 3:15-17)

SKILLS WORK EXPERIENCES:

Some of my skills and work experiences include: empowering the poor to be poor no more, healing the brokenhearted, setting the captives free, healing the sick, restoring sight to the blind and setting at liberty them that are bruised, (See Luke 4:18).

I am Wonderful, Counselor, (See Isaiah 9:6). People who listen to me shall dwell safely and shall not fear evil, (See Proverbs 1:33).

Most importantly, I have the authority, ability and power to cleanse you of your sins, (See I John 1:7-9)

EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND:

I encompass the entire breadth and length of knowledge, wisdom and understanding, (See Proverbs 2:6).

In me are hid all of the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, (See Colossians 2:3).

My Word is so powerful; it has been described as being a lamp unto your feet and a lamp unto your path, (See Psalms 119:105).

I can even tell you all of the secrets of your heart, (See Psalms 44:21).

MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

I was an active participant in the greatest Summit Meeting of all times, (See Genesis 1:26).

I laid down my life so that you may live, (See II Corinthians 5:15).

I defeated the archenemy of God and mankind and made a show of them openly, (See Colossians 2:15).

I’ve miraculously fed the poor, healed the sick and raised the dead!

There are many more major accomplishments, too many to mention here. You can read them on my website, which is located at: www dot – the BIBLE. You don’t need an Internet connection or computer to access my website.

REFERENCES:

The great teacher- my father, JEHOVAH (Psalms 83:18)

Believers and followers worldwide will testify to my divine healings, salvation, deliverance, miracles, restoration and supernatural guidance

In Summation Now that you’ve read my resume, I’m confident that I’m the only candidate uniquely qualified to fill this vital position in your heart. In summation, I will properly direct your paths, (See Proverbs 3:5-6), and lead you into everlasting life, (See John 6:47). When can I start? Time is of the essence, (See Hebrews 3:15).

 

JESUS TURNS HIS DEFEAT AT THE CROSS INTO A GLORIOUS VICTORY

JESUS TURNS HIS DEFEAT AT THE CROSS INTO A GLORIOUS VICTORY

HOW JESUS TURNED HIS DEFEAT AT THE CROSS INTO THE MOST GLORIOUS VICTORY THE WORLD HAS EVER KNOWN (Luke 23:26-35MSG)

Greetings to all My Brothers and Sisters in Christ, as we enter into the final week of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, (which we call Easter), allow me to paint the picture of Jesus’ crucifixion in words and pictures for you. The story is a little longer than we normally present, but because of time constraints I did not want to break it up into two are three parts, just remember, this is not a normal story.

Therefore, I encourage you to listen up and read carefully what I am about to tell you: As they led him off,

Simon of Cyrene the black hands that helped carry the cross (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

Simon of Cyrene the black hands that helped carry the cross (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

they made Simon, a man from Cyrene who happened to be coming in from the countryside, carry the cross behind Jesus. A huge crowd of people followed, along with women weeping and carrying on. At one point Jesus turned to the women and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem don’t cry for me. Cry for yourselves and for your children. The time is coming when they’ll say, ‘Lucky the women who never conceived! Lucky the wombs that never gave birth! And Lucky the breasts that never gave milk!’ Then they’ll start calling to the mountains, ‘Fall down on us!’ calling to the hills, ‘Cover us up!’ If people do these things to a live, green tree, can you imagine what they’ll do with deadwood?”

Two others, both criminals, were taken along with him for execution. When they got to the place called Skull Hill, they crucified him, along with the criminals, one on his right, and the other on his left.

Jesus prayed while on the cross with the two thieves (Photo by Pastor Davis)

Jesus prayed while on the cross with the two thieves (Photo by Pastor Davis)

Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them; they don’t know what they’re doing.” Dividing up his clothes, they threw dice for them. The people stood there staring at Jesus, and the ringleaders made faces, taunting, “He saved others. Let’s see him save himself! The Messiah of GOD—ha! The Chosen—ha!”

At the time of Jesus death, crucifixion was considered the most painful and degrading form of capital punishment in the ROMAN EMPIRE. It was considered so horrible that it was used by the Romans only for slaves, those from the provinces under their control, and the lowest types of criminals. It was not to be used for a ROMAN CITIZEN. This is in accord with the biblical account of CHRIST’S death and with church tradition, which asserts that Peter was also crucified, but Paul, a Roman citizen, was beheaded.

Crucifixion as a means of execution probably grew out of the practice of displaying the heads of captured enemies or criminals on a wooden stake, like those used to build a wall or erect fortifications. Later, entire bodies were impaled. By Jesus time, crucifixion was a common sight.

Although methods of crucifixion seem to have varied throughout the Roman Empire, through biblical and historical accounts the basic pattern is known. The condemned person was first scourged with a flagellum, a whip of leather thongs with bits of metal or bone attached. This whipping greatly weakened the victim, who then had to carry the crossbeam to the place of execution. A sign specifying the crime was often placed around the criminal’s neck or on the cross. The person was stripped naked, laid on the ground with the crossbeam under his shoulders, and tied or nailed to it. Nailing made the victim die quicker, as it did Jesus,

The Agony of being nailed to the cross (Photo by Pastor Davis)

The Agony of being nailed to the cross (Photo by Pastor Davis)

whom the Jewish officials wanted dead before the Sabbath. The crossbeam was lifted and secured to a post so that the person’s feet were hanging just off the ground. Some archaeologists think a pin or wooden block was placed halfway up the post to provide a seat for the body so that the nails would not tear open the wounds, causing the body to fall. The feet also could be nailed or tied to the post.

Although the pain was excruciating, some victims survived on the cross for days. As in the case of the two criminals crucified with Jesus, the legs of a crucified person were sometimes broken to make the sufferer die. This caused massive shock, followed by loss of circulation and heart failure.

Although completely innocent of all sin, Jesus suffered the most horrible, disgraceful punishment known. But His agonizing death was not an ordinary death, for it was not the final chapter. Jesus turned this apparent defeat into the most glorious victory the world has ever known. At the Cross, He suffered for the sins of the world. Then after His resurrection from the dead three days later, Jesus empowered His disciples with a new message, the Good News that He had finally defeated the power of sin and death. Through the Cross, Jesus offers salvation to all who will believe in Him.

The Resurrection of Christ (Kinnaird Resurrection)

The Resurrection of Christ (Kinnaird Resurrection) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now listen to the words Jesus spoke to his disciples, He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

And ye are witnesses of these things.  And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” (Luke 24:46-49 KJV)

As this story clearly shows, there is power in the word for those who believe. God never makes a promise that he cannot fulfilled. It is up to you to always stand on God’s promise, believe it and watch God work in your life.

When the light seems to be the dimmest and the enemy is attacking you on all fronts it is time to stand still and watch God work. With God there is nothing that is impossible. God is truth, he is also the light, when you know the truth, not what you perceive is the truth, but what God has spoken of as truth, you can rest assured that you will have peace in your life, and your soul will be free to experience the manifestation of that truth and the light that God has promised. No weapon that the enemy may train its sights on you with, can penetrate the armor that God places around you. You are a child of God, and God will never allow any harm to come to those who keep his word, stand on faith, and not be swayed like the motions of the ocean, always going back and forth.

Now know this, God wants you to experience victory over all aspects of your life. He allowed himself to experience a horrible death on the cross in order that you might enjoy the fruits of life. He defeated sin and death in order that you may have eternal life. What more can anyone ask for, to know that if you believe in the word, except the word as ruler of your life, you can experience the joy and satisfaction of knowing that you can have victory over the world.

Now in closing, let me state that believers today should always look to the cross in understanding GOD’S

The Cross is the Symbol of God's amazing grace (Photo by Pastor Davis)

The Cross is the Symbol of God’s amazing grace (Photo by Pastor Davis)

PLAN and purpose for their lives. The cross is no joke; it is the reality of Christ’s death for your victory over the world. You can continue to live in this world, partying and having fun, proclaiming that you are a Christian, but remember, your actions speak louder than your words. Jesus was not pretending when he allowed himself to be executed for our sins. We should obey the Lord in every detail as we seek to live a Christian life as we help those that are lost in Christ, find their way and understanding of THE HEART OF THE CROSS and what salvation truly means in their lives. If we truly want to know how to live a perfect life and experience victory over the enemy attacks on our well being, then I say to you right here in now, turn away from the world and look to Jesus as the perfect example.

May this lesson today be a blessing to your life and the people that God has placed in your life as a blessing to your soul.  Now we encourage you to use it, to bless others that we all may receive and experience God’s amazing grace.  I minister to you today from a position of peace, purpose, power and prosperity. I remain your brother in Christ, Pastor Davis/Master Teacher.

KING OF THE JEWS

THE KING OF THE JEWS

THE WAY TO THE KINGDOM IS THE WAY TO THE CROSS (MARK 15:25-27)

The King of the Jews Crucifixion (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

And it was the third hour (about nine o’clock in the morning) when they crucified Him.  And the inscription of the accusation against Him was written above,

The King of the Jews.

And with Him they crucified two robbers, one on [His] right hand and one on His left.  And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, He was counted among the transgressors.

Jesus was placed on the cross at nine o’clock in the morning.  A signboard stating as a warning.  Because Jesus was never found guilty, the only accusation placed on his sign was the “crime” of calling himself King of the Jews.  This sign was meant to be ironic.  A king, stripped and executed in public view, had obviously lost his kingdom forever.  But Jesus, who turns the world’s wisdom upside down, was just coming into his kingdom.  His death and resurrection would strike the deathblow to Satan’s rule and would establish Christ’s eternal authority over the earth.  Few people reading the sign that bleak day understood its real meaning but the sign was absolutely true.  Jesus is king of the Jews, and the Gentiles, and the whole universe.

When James and John had asked Jesus for the places of honor next to him in his kingdom, Jesus had told them that they did not know what they were asking (Mark 10:35-39).  Here, as Jesus was preparing to inaugurate his kingdom through his death, the places on his right and on his left were taken by two criminals.

A person who wants to be close to Jesus must be prepared to suffer and die as he himself was doing.  The way to the kingdom is the way of the cross.  If we want the glory of the kingdom, we must be willing to be united with the crucified Christ.

We bless this word to each one of you this morning.  Come and worship with us this coming Sunday Morning at 0700, for a very Special Palm Sunday Morning Prayer, Praise and Worship Service.  May your day be filled with Joy, Love and Peace.

SIMON OF CYRENE WAS THE BLACK HANDS THAT HELP TO CARRY THE CROSS

SIMON OF CYRENE WAS THE BLACK HANDS THAT HELP TO CARRY THE CROSS

Simon of Cyrene the black hands that helped carry the cross (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

Simon of Cyrene the black hands that helped carry the cross (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

And when they had [finished] making sport of Him, they took the purple [robe] off Him and put His own clothes on Him. And they led Him out [of the city] to crucify Him.

And they forced a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus, who was coming in from the field (country), to carry His cross.

And they led Him to Golgotha [in Latin: Calvary], meaning The Place of a Skull.  (Mark 15:20-22 AMP).

In verse 21, Mark tells us that Simon of Cyrene, was coming into the city from the countryside into the city of Jerusalem, but the Lord was traveling out of the city.  These two men were traveling in opposite directions.  Simon was coming in and the Lord was going out being led by the Roman Soldiers and a large crowd of haters.  Simon suddenly found himself turned around at the instructions of the Centurion and finds his life walking in exactly the opposite direction from where he was first headed.  Meeting Christ at this point and being forced to place his hands on the cross and carry it would be a life changing experience for him.

Now some of you might ask, “why would he ever mention Simon of Cyrene as the Black Hands on the cross, and how would he even know that Simon of Cyrene was a Black Man?  For those of you who are truth seekers, these would be legitimate questions to ask.  For me as a Minister of the Gospel, called and ordained to come boldly before the throne of grace, and speak truth to power, convince, rebuke, exhort and teach, it is my job to empower you with knowledge in order that you may know the truth and the truth will truly set you free.  (John 8:32)

For me to state here with absolute certain that Simon of Cyrene was a Black Man is impossible.  This is a question that has been debated by Scholars worldwide for hundreds of years.  However, I should start by pointing out it is difficult to determine with accuracy black men and women in the Bible because the Bible is color-neutral. There is never any reference to race or racial features. The main distinction throughout the Bible is between those that serve God and those that do not, whether as individuals or as nations. It is not definite that everyone from Ethiopia or Cyrene was black, but certainly you could reasonably assume that it was a good possibility. So this study will have to be considered reasonable speculation.

We know very little about Simon. We see from this Mark’s writing that he had come from the country to Jerusalem on this occasion, perhaps on business. He must have been a strong man. I don’t think the soldiers would have picked a weakling. God had appointed him to be there, not to help Jesus with the cross, but to encounter the one who was to be crucified for his sins. Except for Mark’s obscure reference to Rufus and Alexander we would have no more information about Simon.

What we do know about Simon called Niger is his name.  Simon is a Jewish name and Niger comes from the Latin word for “black”.  It’s safe to say he was Jewish and may have been called “Black” simply because of his looks.

Research shows that Simon of Cyrene was from a country in ancient northern Africa (bordering Egypt) called Libya. According to Spirit of English Magazine Vol. 10, pg. 286; in ancient times Libya contained two countries Cyrenaica and Marmarica.  Wikipedia [the on line encyclopedia], shares that Libya was until recent times, the home of one the oldest Jewish communities in the world, dating back to at least 300 BC. In the 1st century, the Jewish historian for the Roman Empire, Josephus Flavius, noted 500,000 Jews lived in Libya. By today’s standards, people from North Africa may or may not be classified as Black. The New Testament, let’s us in on the fact that Joseph, Mary and Jesus spent time in Egypt, This raises an equally intriguing question as to whether or not Simon’s friend, Joseph of Marmarica (a.k.a. Joseph of Marmore, Joseph of Arimathea, brother of Jesus’ grandmother) from the neighboring district of Marmonica/Marmarica, should also be classified as African or Black. –Satchell Intell.

We find here in (Matthew 27:32 NKJV).  Simon of Cyrene was from Ethiopia, and this text and the identity of this man clearly reminds us all of us today that all cultures were represented at Calvary and in the church.  This further reminds us that wise men of all ages would be honored to be allowed to perform the task that was conferred upon Simon of Cyrene, the Ethiopia from northwestern Africa.  Whether it was voluntary or by force, in any case, black hands were extended to help the Savior bear His cross.  The Ethiopian eunuch from Africa (Acts 8:26) was the first Gentile convert mentioned by name in the Book of Acts.  History reports that he returned to Ethiopia to found the Abyssinian Christian Church, which exists until this day.

May God’s saving grace, be with each one of you whose hands, regardless of their color, feel obligated to pick-up your cross and carry it this day be blessed with love, peace and power.  Only because Jesus loved all of us and died for our sins do we have the opportunity to celebrate his life, death and resurrection on this EASTER weekend.  I remain your brother in Jesus Christ, Pastor Davis/Master Teacher!

THERE IS ONLY ONE GOSPEL AND JESUS PREACHED IT

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber ...

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber to be an example of a charismatic religious leader. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

THERE IS ONLY ONE GOSPEL

THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS AT HAND AND JESUS PREACHED IT

Now let us understand this one truth, and that there is, “ONLY ONE GOSPEL;” Jesus preached it, transmitted it to His disciples, and has committed it to His church.  Paul warned us against ever receiving any other gospel. “Any other” may be either a message of outright error or an argument for a diluted message, devoid of power though nominally Christian.  Judeurges us always to contend for the original, “the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.”  Hold to the full “gospel of the kingdom,” and expect the Lord to confirm that “word” with the signs He promised.

Therefore, after John was put in prison Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand, Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

It is clear to all of us that the early church proclaimed the same message Jesus preached, that is, “the gospel of the kingdom of God.”  Also they experienced the same confirming evidences that were present in His ministry.

You truly must know without a doubt that Jesus‘ministry did not begin until He received His “anointing” as the Messiah, the empowering that came through the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Him.  Though conceived and born by the Spirit’s power, He insisted that John baptize Him, not for repentance, but because He knew the Holy Spirit would come upon Him at that time.  From that moment forward, He is led by the Spirit and moves into the ministry declaring the presence of God’s kingdom and manifesting its miracles, signs, and wonders.

This pathway points each believer to the need for power, if kingdom ministry is to be advanced through us, His church. Like Him, we, too, are “born of the Spirit.” Though obviously, our spiritual birth is not as His biological virgin birth, the point remains.

Spiritual rebirth saves, but spiritual inducement is needed for ministering in kingdom power.  Similarly, our justification in Christ-being declared sinless (2 Cor. 5:21)-does not qualify for kingdom power in ministry.  In His incarnation Jesus’ Person and perfection exceeded ours in every way, yet Jesus still acknowledged the need for His own receiving of the power of the Holy Spirit to pursue His ministry.  What more needs to be said?  Let each of us personally hear His command: “Receive the Holy Spirit!” (John 20:22).

Now let us conclude with this thought, by encouraging you to think deeply on the Kingdom of God and its meaning in your life. Today I minister to you from a position of peace, power, purpose and prosperity. Always encouraging you to think globally and work locally.  I remain your brother in ChristPastor Davis/Master Teacher.

 

GOD IS OUR LIFE GIVER THROUGH JESUS CHRIST

GOD IS OUR LIFE GIVER THROUGH JESUS CHRIST

 Written by Shirley Rhodes

Life (Photo by Pastor Davis)

In our lesson today, let me share with you God’s word on living your life in the fullness of all that He has provided you through Jesus Christ.  The Scriptures teaches us in John 8:32, to know the truth and the truth will set you free.  This lesson presents you with five key ingredients of that truth to help you live the life God has purposed for you.

Now let us understand that our Life is given to us through Jesus Christ; he knows our thoughts, desires and what we need even when we make decisions or choices that lead us astray.  One good thing about a relationship with him is that he understands when we make honest mistakes. There may be times that we as believers will not see how the Holy Spirit is directing our lives or may rely on or receive bad advice from a friend. God looks at the heart and may even allow poor judgment (decisions) to run its course, but he will not shame his children for an honest error, he can (and will) often turn what seem like a bad situation into something good for his own use. If God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking of your-self more than of him. He offers us hope, faith, love, joy and peace; it’s all there, so grab hold.

Life in Hope:

Although times may seem hard at the present moment there is still hope. Paul gives us a glimpse of what it’s like living in expectancy when he penned these thoughts; I don’t think there’s any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times. Difficult times of pain throughout the world are around us and within us, the Spirit of God is arousing us within; the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our wait. When we get tired of waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. He does our praying in and for us, he knows us far better than we know ourselves (Romans 8: 9-28, MGS)

Life in Faith:

By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.  This is what the ancients were commended for; Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and so many more moved in faith. All were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. People who say such things show they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country–a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them (Hebrews 11:1-16, NIV).

Life of Love:

Jesus says, “If any of you wants to serve me, and then follow me, then you’ll be where I am, the Father will honor anyone who serves me.” (John 12: 26 KJV). He commands that we live a life of love for every-one, that means that no matter how someone my treat you or what they say about you, you are to love unconditionally.  Jesus says, “If you love me you will keep my commandments (John 14:15 KJV). This is my commandment, love one another as I have loved you, greater love have no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends.” For God have not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7 KJV).  This is how we know we’re living steadily and deeply in him, He’s given us life from his life, from his very own Spirit (1 John 4:13 MGS). God is love. The scriptures remind us, that if anyone boasts, “I love God,” and hates his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see? The command we have from God is blunt: Loving God includes loving people, you’ve got to love both (20, 21 MGS).

Joy (gladness):

They that sow in tears shall reap in joy (Psalm 126:5).

Peace (calm response):

The Lord will give strength to his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace (Psalm 29:11).

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